Posted by: katedaphne | January 24, 2008

Lurking in my own life

Gosh, I’ve been away awhile, I know. Very sorry. Is it possible to be a lurker in your own life? How about in your own blog?

In trying to catch up, this is going to be a long post. Topics you can look forward to: Coping with a chemical. Rachael Ray. Hemingway. Sex. Cholera. Wtf. Donor eggs. Ikea. Ghirardelli.

Here we go

I’ve just been trying to process this latest kick in the ass, and it has been hard to form actual, sequential thoughts. Actually, I’ve been manic lately. Spring cleaning and such. Last week I organized the all canned foods in the cabinet by size, color and food group. Cleaned the whole house, organized our home office, cleaned out my closet and threw away all kinds of things that I no longer wear. Read a Rachael Ray cookbook in which she tells you which foods to keep on hand so you can make any recipe in her book needing to pick up no more than a few items from the store on your way home from work — then stocked up on everything she said. I’ve cooked more meals in 2008 than I did in all of 2007.

Some of you are saying, “Yeah, so? I do all that every week.”

Those people don’t know me. I’m not domestic; cleaning and cooking are not my strong points. I like clutter, a little bit of dust, and eating out. In a good year, I’d rather sit and stare at the wall and daydream than do almost anything.

But this is not a good year.

So. When I went to the doctor recently to renew my sleeping pills scrip, he asked what I was doing to manage my anxiety and depression. I was able to truthfully tell him I’d been keeping busy.

The only thing I haven’t done is reconcile to my life. Somehow, it’s like I’ve been sent back in time, to just after my first IVF. Back then I was so innocent. I really didn’t know IVF might not work. When it didn’t, it was like God had reached down and thumped my forehead. I was knocked on my ass, stunned, at a loss. And that’s how I am again, four more IVFs later.

A favorite author of mine, Judith Guest (Ordinary People, among other books) always works in the phrase, “Never confuse movement with action.” Maybe Hemingway said it, not sure. Yeah, there’s been a lot of movement aroud here. But not a hell of a lot of action.

Book club

But let’s back up.
I went with the Suck It Up plan. Now, I am a big believer in the take-care-of-yourself school of thought. But I chose to Suck It Up because the message I wanted to send was that I am a part of the group too and that my concerns and struggles deserve respect. But mostly I decided to Suck It Up because I wanted to see my friends and because I hoped they would turn out to be there for me. They couldn’t be there for me if not given the opportunity to be — and they were. Overall, a very pleasant evening was passed.

Oh — and if you want to get a book club to talk about the book instead of just drinking wine and chatting about whatever — it helps to read a book with a lot of sex in it!! We read Love in the Time of Cholera, and believe me, it got a LOT of discussion!!!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Yes, we had that little gem yesterday, the WTF, more than a month after my chemical. One of the joys of an out of town cycle. The good part is I didn’t have to fly to New York, and it was free. The bad part was I had to wait a month.

How can something so very predictable be yet so traumatic? He said everything we expected, almost word for word. Bottom line? It is not unreasonable to try again, same everything, and that’s what he would recommend. He admitted after so many cycles it is natural to consider whether it’s time for donor eggs — but that for us, he doesn’t want to do that.

The tough part of the conversation was that he doesn’t like to consider our first three IVFs as full-fledged tries. None was an ideal cycle, for varying reasons, and of course — they weren’t with him. Even the nicest REs, I believe, have something of a God complex. They have to. Who else can create life? So while we’ve done five IVFs, he only really likes to count two.

But while they may not count for him — they count to us. You can’t unring that bell. Maybe they don’t count medically, but mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, believe me — they count. You can’t just erase a year of our lives. We lived it, we were there.

So Cornell doc wants us to use our frozen embies from our first Cornell cycle, and if necessary, to try again with him. He pooh-poohed other testing and is confident the problem is egg quality and that he can improve it with his protocol.

Mike and I are pretty sure we aren’t up for trying the same thing anymore. We’ve reached our limit. If we had unlimited resources we’d cycle twenty more times if needed. But we don’t, we are nearly at our limit. We have access to more credit but not the ability to pay for much more. We aren’t interested in trying other clinics either. We’ve tried a few different protocols, had very good responses. There’s not much anyone could do differently at this point. PGD or CGH may confirm chromosomal problems but we already know that’s the issue.

So — we are thinking about donor eggs, and asked the doc about that. I’ve been trying to reconcile myself to that since our BFN in May. I’ll write more about that in another post.


We decided to take the day off work, so after The Call, we hopped in the car and drove to Orlando, which is about 90 minutes away, and went shopping at the area’s new IKEA. We were both IKEA virgins but had heard the hype. In the end, we had a lovely time browsing and shopping but there wasn’t much we really wanted to buy. We got out for about fifty bucks — you know, two dollar bathmats and clearance shelving, new tupperware containers for all the Rachael Ray leftovers, that kind of thing.

I realized something about IKEA. It’s not about buying things. The enjoyment of a place like that comes in imagining a whole different life. What would life be like if my rooms looked like THIS? How about if they looked like THAT? Would I be a better cook if I had that kitchen island? Surely I’d be happy to be organized if I had those cheerful bins and magnetic jars! You can create a whole new you just by walking through the showroom.

A whole new us seemed pretty attractive yesterday, so it was a nice way to spend a day that began so traumatically. We finished up at Downtown Disney with dinner and then dessert at the Ghirardelli shop. It was a nice time to bond, just the two of us, and good to have something to do rather than just go to work and fake being productive.

Therefore, in conclusion

So, there you go, the last few weeks in a nutshell. Okay, a coconut shell maybe, but still. I hope to write more, more often. Topics I have in mind if time, energy and inspiration do in fact collide again soon: Genealogy, blogs and privacy, donor eggs. Maybe some chocolate.



  1. I’m glad you’re back…and I’m glad you went to the book group! Love in the time of cholera is such a great story…

    OOh–by the way–I tagged you! Instructions are in my blog…

  2. Hmm, your wtf sounded about as satisfying as mine. Why they think that it’s really OK to write off previous cycles as not really counting, and chemical pregnancies as a success, and that we will be happy to try the same thing again, I’m not sure.

    I’m glad to hear you got support at the book club, and about your trip to IKEA, though. I’m quite jealous, of both things really. We have an IKEA that opened down here (I think marginally beating yours to the title of Florida’s first) but I can’t quite bring myself to go. I’d always imagined a trip there for the low cost but oh-so-stylist nursery, and well, that isn’t happening. Maybe I just need to plan to replace all my kitchen storage jars or something.

  3. I feel like you and I are in similiar situations….it just sucks. And your WTF sounded JUST like mine, truly. He said the same thing about my 2 pre-cornell cycles as well. It made DH feel better, but sure as heck not me. Well, between you and me we’ll share info and figure out what to do.

  4. Glad to hear from you again.

    All right, maybe it is the lupron talking… but the whole “your first three cycles don’t count” thing pissed me off. They don’t count???? (To be honest, I am a bit sensitive b/c someone from my clinic recently insinuated the same thing about mine). Clearly spoken by someone who has not personally done an “extra” 3 IVF cycles.

    Interested to hear your thoughts on using donor eggs… and definitely… chocolate 🙂

  5. Thanks for the update. As I read your WTF, I thought about how my RE seems to move on so quickly – of course we did have 3 failed cycles with the same RE before he suggested DE and he did it with the caveat “One more try and right to DE”. Maybe because the cycles were with him it was easier to suggest.

    Or maybe it was because he new how much we were suffering emotionally and financially and new that it was time to up the odds from from a max of 40% success rate (for someone my age – he actually thought my chances were less) to an 80% live birth rate with DE.

    I am interested in seeing how you work through the DE issue. I can talk about chocolate for hours!

  6. I’m glad you’re back!

    It’s impossible not to count your previous IVFs. Any woman who has been through it knows that it is the central focus in your life. I look back on what life has been like the last 2 years and all I see are blood tests, meds, doctors. I don’t think I would know what to do with myself if I wasn’t in mid-cycle, planning a cycle, dealing with a BFN, or researching some new school of thought. It becomes an obsession for sure.

    I don’t know much about DE but I have started reading the book Is Your Body Baby-Friendly? I don’t know if this is a new avenue or a bunch of nonsense.

    I hope you keep occupied and find some comfort in chocolate and bath mats!

  7. Welcome back! I agree with the others, it’s impossible to discount previous IVF cycles. And I’m glad that book club went well for you.

    I look forward to your future ramblings, when the time is right! Our situations are so similar.

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